Category Archives: BP #5

Invisible Children

There has been a video circulating since 2006 about vicious war criminal Joseph Kony of Uganda. The videos purpose is to raise awareness of the child soldier problem within the African continent. The story is told of a ruthless man who exploits the children of Africa for his army and sex slavery. Over spring break, my facebook wall exploded with Kony 2012 updates and the video was reposted over and over. I cannot fault anyone for caring about this issue, as I believe awareness  is vitally important, but I do take concern for all the complacent comments I saw in the aftermath. The video depicts vicious brutalities of a war that is almost one-sided, but are nothing new for warlords. Why then, are people surprised that this still happens in the year 2012? As Americans of any color, I believe we have become desensitized to such things, and the media has tired of reporting on it. People who criticize the documentary say that Uganda has stabilized and that the threat is not as bad as it once was, and that the documenters collect profits that should go to the children. Others only criticize the fact that this happened before, and the U.S. is presumptions to step in expecting tidy results. I am torn because as a feminist I would like nothing more than to liberate those who are oppressed, but I can see a bit of shade in the fact that we are focused on only one man instead of the bigger picture problems plaguing the continent. After watching it, I also felt that the females in captivity are even more invisible because they are not soldiers, but concubines.  Does anyone have any thoughts about this short film or the Kony 2012 movement?

 

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What If?

I feel that in order for people to really understand the injustice of racial inequality that Blacks have to endure, they would literally need to step foot into our shoes. We can paint dramatic pictures or tell amazing stories but I feel that in order for it to really stick, for others to really understand is to experience it for themselves.

How many of you have ever watched the movie, “A White Man’s Burden?”

It’s an amazing movie ( a little older) illustrating exactly what I was previously discussing. It follows the story of a white man who endures the struggles of a black man today. I don’t want to tell too much of the movie as I think you should watch it yourself, but I will try my best to discuss it without giving away too many spoilers.

This movie is very interesting as it takes the very concepts that we all possess as humans regardless of race such as providing for our families and wanting the best things in life and illustrates how these concepts can be interfered once the perspection of color gets involved. The color of skin shaped society to where it was hard for those inferior to the superior could manage their lifestyle. There was a scene when the white boy begged his father to pay way more than he could afford for the black doll as it was cooler than all the other cheap dolls (they were white). This illustrates how society also shapes the minds of our young adolences as they create a self hatred for themselves for being different from the rest.

What I found most interesting about this movie is how the “black woman” role is portrayed. This role is illustrated by a white woman as in this movie the society is in reverse in what we know it as. The white woman (remember she is suppose to playing the black woman’s role) received a different, sympathetic reaction from the audience than if the woman really was black. I found it to be interesting because she did the same things that black women would do in her situation such as move in with the her mother while working a part time job to help provide financial resources to her family. She even became a single mother once her husband was wrongfully gunned down by the police. The audience was making “ooh and ahh” sounds as if they were surprised at the brutality of the system. I was shocked because while this is a movie, situations like this happen in real life.

I think this movie is important as it gives an alternate feel as to how systematic oppression can trap particular individuals.

If you have seen the movie, leave comments and tell me what do you think.

Is this what we are teaching our young girls today??

http://www.worldstarhiphop.com/videos/video.php?v=wshhctXSIFv8BDbY9I9S

http://www.worldstarhiphop.com/videos/video.php?v=wshhz48H5d3k6XO08Xwh

I came across these two videos while browsing the Internet and I was in complete shock. In one video, a group of young girls are dancing to explicit music, which they shouldn’t be listening to. The worst thing about it is that grown folks are sitting around watching and encouraging the girls to keep going. Furthermore, in the other video, two girls are showing a baby how to “twerk”.

This is a pure example of bad parenting. I often  hear people make comments about Black people not knowing how to raise there kids. I am not saying that it’s true but it’s videos like these two that show that African American mothers aren’t doing their jobs. I am appalled that someone would show these young girls these promiscuous dances. Instead of allowing their kids to listen and dance to inappropriate music, they should be teaching them how to read, write, and other useful things they can use in life. When I was growing up, we played games and did what normal kids at that age are suppose to do. We weren’t allowed to listen to music that had cursing in it and let alone no one taught us how to dance. I think it’s a shame that today’s media and music are corrupting our young kids.

Black Women and Drag Queens

This week we focused on perception and in one of my other WGST classes we spoke about perception as well so I thought this would make for a great blog post.  The perception of black women in terms of drag queens; I’ve noticed that black women cannot stand drag queens they do not want to associate with them or be around them. It has become more evident in recent times with the premiering of RuPauls drag race. I never understood why until I read the article “Is Paris Burning “-bell hooks.  In the article she states that black women are not too keen on black drag queens because they feel that the black drag queens aid in the stereotyping and discrimination of black women. The glamorous beings in all their makeup and over exaggerated hair and costumes “give women a bad reputation.”  Usually the black men depict black women as the object of ridicule and scorn. In popular culture Eddie Murphy as Raspushia, or Jamie Foxx as Wanda, even Tyler Perry as Madea. These images meant to be funny are disempowering to the black woman. In a world where black woman are the objects of abuse and ridicule black man aid in the reinforcement of everyone’s power over black women.  I also came across an article concerning black women and Drag Race show.  In October before the show premiered Loretta Devine was recruited to be on the show as a guest judge and she accepted well this caused a big frenzy because many prominent figures in the black church were outraged at her supporting the “gay lifestyle” and this type of behavior.

My thoughts used to be well let them be, allow those drag queens to do what they do best. I believed that what they did was an art and still do to some sense. I was once a huge fan of the Madea movies until I seen the more complex meaning behind them. Understandably Tyler’s inspiration comes from his grandmother but the media has screwed the meaning and understanding behind the movies. They all have a special and important message behind them but I hate the way the women are portrayed in the movies. For example Angela in Why did I get married; a smart woman who has a degree in college and started her own product line and owns her own salon. Well you would think that positive and shows a powerful woman. Wrong! Because on the other hand you have Angela the insane woman always insecure about her man arguing with his baby mama and acting all ghetto, she is also a heavy drinker. Then you have Dianne who is so career crazed she neglects her family. Last but not least there is Trina the typical whore who is willing to sleep with any man that has money and doesn’t think twice about stealing a man from his wife.  This is just one movie if you actually took the time to watch a movie or a play and look at the deeper meaning it might change your mind about his films. I am far from a Tyler Perry Hater. I just want the public to take notice to these stereotypes portrayed in films. I admit his films have always been funny and I will occasionally pop one of the stage plays in and laugh but not as hard and I take notice to what is really going on in the media.

More Reading

“Reel to Real: Race, Sex, and Class at the Movies”-bell hooks

“Drag Queens and Drag Kings: The Difference Gender Makes”– Leila J Rupp

“Gender Trouble“- Judith Butler

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Tyra Sanchez

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Sheneneh

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Rupaul Charles

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Wanda

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Raspushia

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Mabel "Madea" Simmons

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Bebe Zahara Benet

Your Edumacation

S.A.V.E (Students Advocating Vigorously for Education) held a program today called “The Evolution of Blacks in America: “Building a Stronger Community through Education and Activism” off course the focus was on Education.   The keynote speaker was Mr. Joseph Charles Jones who is a Freedom Rider and was invited on Oprah’s show to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Riders.  There were also organizations from the computer and UNCC to speak on education.  We have all heard the saying “A mind is trouble thing to waste” and “Education is the key” but these sayings really true.  We heard from a 7th grade girl that told us that she will be the first of her family to go to college, which for many young people her age this is so true.   She wishes to be a role model for her younger siblings and the only way to really do this is to lead by example.  I thought that it was a great thing that she knew at that age that education was the only way she was going to do the things she wanted to in life.  Some of the speakers talked about the lack of choices people have; an absence of choices is what Mrs. Bell Hooks defined as oppression.  Having an education will allow you to better understand the lack of choices that you have and find a way to tackle them.   During the program a presenter said “The opposite of poverty is not wealthy, it is justice” and she asked the attendee what this meant.  One response was that poverty is a crime and that justice means equality for all, I agreed with this.  As we talked about in class there are systems in place that keep people in the position/circumstances they are in.  There are more girls that graduate from high school and that are in college than men.  Every year 2,000 students drop out of high school and they are twice as likely to live in poverty.  The program was very good and I think people take a lot from it.

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Faith and Feminism: Do we still seek God in the Movement?

In Words of Fire, the essay Religion and the Pure Principles of Morality, the Sure Foundation of Which we Must Build by Maria Miller Stewart (pg. 26-29) addressed the place of religion in the movement. She began by declaring that America is ‘the land of freedom’ and every man has a right to express his opinion. The color of his skin does not make him inferior because God has made him.   She understood that many would suffer for the cause of equality and that she would gladly be one of the martyrs. She addressed a letter to ‘My Respected Friends’ about her prayers, about using the knowledge that God gave her and spoke of having to give an account to God. She asked several affecting questions to the daughters of Africa (black women), such as what have ye done to immortalize your names beyond the grave? What examples have ye set before the rising generation? Where are our union and love? When was the last time we heard someone speak of love in association with the movement? She spoke of every woman being united, how they raised their own funding to build a high school and how God would raise them up. She encouraged women to promote and patronize each other, to possess the spirit o independence and to be bold and enterprising. But, she also pointed to God and encouraged them ‘as a people, to hearken unto the voice of the Lord, our God, and walk in his ways and ordinance, and become distinguished for our ease, elegance, and grace, combined with other virtues, that day the Lord will raise us up, and enough aid to befriend us, and we shall begin to flourish…

I think Stewart was essentially giving credit to God for many early achievements of the movement and stated that principles of morality were foundations to build upon. Any thoughts on why that has changed.